Northark receives $96K for paid internships

Mon Dec 5, 2016 at 01:22 PM

Internship opportunities can increase the likelihood that a student will both graduate and find a good job after graduation. However, many internships are unpaid, so low-income students who need a paying job can’t afford the opportunity and miss out on developing professional skills and networks available to their wealthier peers.

At North Arkansas College (Northark) in Harrison, students have participated in internships, but the majority of them were unpaid.  Northark’s President Dr. Randy Esters says, “According to research 63 percent of paid interns get at least one job offer, while just 37 percent of unpaid interns get an offer.  At Northark, 85 percent of grads find employment in their chosen field within six months.  We’re proud to be selected to offer paid internships and appreciate the foresight and vision of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates that has enabled us to provide this opportunity to our students.”

The paid internships will begin September 2017.  Colleges will spend the first eight months primarily on administrative planning, employer outreach, and student recruitment.

This is an issue Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates first started to address in 2013, funding the creation of paid internships for low-income students at four-year institutions with its Career Ready Internship Grant. Great Lakes has seen firsthand the benefits of paid internships at these institutions. Previous grantees reported that 98 percent of participating students either graduated or continued in their academic programs the following semester. Great Lakes is now seeking to learn best practices for establishing and administering paid internship programs at two-year colleges.

In an expansion of its Career Ready Internship Grant to two-year institutions, Great Lakes is awarding a combined $2.1 million to 16 community and technical colleges across Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin. During the spring 2017, fall 2017 and spring 2018 terms, the colleges will work to create over 1,000 paid internships.

Grant funds will cover internship wages and other expenses as the grantees partner with employers in their communities. The colleges will also build their internal capacity to recruit students, match them with available internships related to their academic programs and provide them the support they need to succeed.

“We’re pleased to see that these 16 colleges are dedicated to connecting students from low-income backgrounds to paid internship opportunities,” said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. “Our goal with this grant is to learn how two-year schools can build a self-sustaining paid internship program. We hope that the knowledge we gain will serve as a blueprint that can be used to create successful internship programs at community colleges across the nation.”

The recipients of the 2017-2018 Career Ready Internship grants are:

Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire, WI $107,476

Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH $174,515

Hennepin Technical College Eden Prairie, MN $178,500

Indian Hills Community College Ottumwa, IA $103,248

Inver Hills Community College Inver Grove Heights, MN $159,605

Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland, WI $68,945

Lorain County Community College Elyria, OH $127,020

Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI $173,005

Minneapolis Community and Technical College Minneapolis, MN $175,862

National Park Community College Hot Springs, AR $174,816

North Arkansas College Harrison, AR $96,007

North Central State College Mansfield, OH $137,905

North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND $154,067

Owens State Community College Perrysburg, OH $49,500

Vermilion Community College Ely, MN $82,209

Waukesha County Technical College Pewaukee, WI $139,968

North Arkansas College is committed to providing an educational and work environment for its students, faculty, and staff that is free from sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence. No form of sexual discrimination will be tolerated. See the full North Arkansas College Title IX Policy and Procedures for the specific definitions of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including examples of such conduct.